Memorization

(Source: Facebook.)

I just had a long talk with my friend and classmate about memorization. Namely, we’re memorizing too many different texts. Since we have 10 classes, each class offers something different:

•A scene from an Irish play for Monday’s class.

•A piece of text from “The Tell Tale Heart” for the Tuesday morning class.

•A Shakespeare monologue for the Tuesday afternoon class.

•A scene from an Irish television show for Wednesday’s class.

•2 songs off book for vocal rep.

And that’s only this week.

Memorization is incredibly helpful, and over time, with enough training, I can memorize quickly. However, with stress, a varied schedule, and too many texts to learn, I’m far too scattered. With the way my brain works, I need to dedicate more time to learn a show or a piece of text than maybe the average person.

I pray to survive the semester with all of my texts in place. But I wish I could dedicate myself to one piece of text at a time.

A Scam that Built a Community

(Source: Image Orca Pinterest.)

Is it possible for a scam to bring people together? In my case and many others, yes it did.

A “recruiter” messaged me a few weeks ago to tell of a a beauty campaign featuring diverse faces and body types for a campaign. I was wary of it at first, but I was also wary of a strange email sent to me about a film (MUDA) that turned out to be very real. So I asked for more information and they sent me an email regarding what the campaign is and what the contract looks like.

Before I agree to anything, I typically do research to find out more about the companies involved as well as the campaign. Shockingly these scammers did an incredible job at crossing their “T’s” and dotting their “I’s”. They provided real companies, real discount codes for their products, a genuine conference call with everyone that would be working on the shoot, as well as a real location as to where we would be staying. Unfortunately, but fortunately, the veil lifted for everyone soon after and it was revealed to be a scam.

The silver lining in all of it was that everyone scammed was on a group email and we all corresponded with each other after the big reveal to figure out how we can fight the scam and stay in touch. Now we are a community that follows each other on Instagram with the hopes that we will collaborate on projects in the future. It’s definitely possible: many of us are models, actors, recording artists, bloggers, and brand ambassadors. Movers and shakers in this industry that are making big things happen.

I’ve been fortunate enough to not be pulled into an elaborate scam that affects my safety or my finances. Those people are out there and it’s concerning that they would go to such lengths. Take this as a warning: do all of your research, ask questions, ask others that are involved, and if something doesn’t feel right in your gut, walk away.

Workshops

(Source: Facebook)

I use this meme because it’s a process of appointments to get approval to work here. Especially with so many educational offerings from other theatre schools that my school does not offer in the slightest. Like:

•Casting and Auditions

•Stage Combat (primarily Rapier and Dagger work)

•Showreel Preparation

The Casting and Audition course is particularly interesting to me because that last audition I had back in December, I bombed completely. While my professors talk about auditions, they are not really touching on how difficult the process actually is. In fact many working actors in the thick of the industry say that auditioning is a skill of its own. Once you get a booking, doing the job is super easy.

The next beast to tame is the showreel. As I mentioned on a previous post, the hardest part of booking work has been a lack of a reel to present to potential casting agencies. Mainly due to not being cast in low budget or student films who are not paying me, but will compensate me with reel footage, but in order to be considered for a part, I must have a reel first…..

(Source: Twitter. Same, cute little dog, same.)

The workshop that is offering this is also teaching advanced techniques in working in film along with production of reel footage for me to use.

Of course, to cap it all off, there is another Stage Combat workshop that I want to take. Clearly I can’t get enough of this art, especially since I would be training in a brand new weapons category.

Two of the three courses are being paid for from my previous modeling jobs. The third I will need to find a job to pay for that course. Wish me luck!

My Apartment is Kicking My Butt in Shape

(Source: somewhere on Twitter.)

I haven’t really talked too much about the apartment I was able to rent. Honestly my schedule doesn’t really permit for much of anything so it’s been difficult to stay consistent with this blog, but that complaint is for another time. However the time has come to not only talk about the apartment, but also why it’s forcing me to get in shape.

The apartment is really old and the bathroom is scary gross. The tenants are good people, so the lack of cleanliness is not a reflection on them. It has more to do with the fact that the last time the space was truly renovated was in the early 1900’s. I would fetch a guess that the bathroom has not had an update since the early 1990’s. There are all sorts of vermin crawling all over the place. I bought special storage bins for my clothing and toiletries so they wouldn’t have bugs in them. Plus I regularly check my suitcases and my bed to make sure no critters have crawled in them. It’s bad.

When it comes to using the bathroom, I hover squat over the toilet…IF I use it. I just use the toilet while I’m at school or at Starbucks mostly. The sink is disgusting, so I use the kitchen sink in my apartment to wash my hands and brush my teeth.

The worst part is the shower. This is a shared bathroom for 3 apartments within the building with 5 adults living there and for the shower to work it charges €2 for 5 minutes.

Yeah…..no.

1) I need to take more than 5 minutes in the shower just for my hair alone. So in order for me to be truly cleansed, I would say I’m spending upwards of €6 per shower.

2) I bathe everyday, because I sweat profusely and I walk around in city pollution. €6 daily adds up big time. I’m looking at €168 monthly just to take a shower.

3) Since living in film and funk gives me anxiety, my family and I established that it would be cheaper to pay for a gym membership and use the shower there. Right now I’m on a student contract (3 month intervals) with a really posh gym in the city for only €45 per month.

So I’m taking advantage of my new membership by using the facilities for more than just hygiene purposes. I’m seriously out of shape and even though I lost a little weight since I got here, it wasn’t significant enough for me to buy new clothes or look better in photos. This is a good thing. I worked out after school today for 30 minutes and was already super winded. I’m now motivated to workout every day until that no longer is an issue. Hopefully I drop a few more pounds and gain some energy back.

Oh and I took a super long shower too.

(Source: Facebook.)

Repeat Technique

(Source: Giphy.com)

Ok dammit, I guess I can’t stay away. I NEED to journal this.

So, today was my first class and well…it was somewhat frustrating, but I guess the first day of school is always frustrating. There’s still a lot of issues, confusion, and concern in regards to my major, but that’s beside point of this blog post.

Today we did a review of the Meisner repeat technique. Something I’m familiar with since I began training in Meisner back in 2015. The point of this technique is to break down any tension and barriers between the actors to find truthful moments. In essence it helps the actors deliver the text they’re given more realistically without over acting, or forcing oneself to dredge up past traumas for realistic emotions. We start by making simple observations first: noticing eye color or what shirt a person is wearing and we make a statement.

“You’re eyes are blue.”

Then the actor sitting opposite responds by repeating the statement

“My eyes are blue.”

From there we dig deeper and try to identify discomfort, or further details about the physical things that we see. What we can’t do is make a judgment. I can’t say “you’re wearing an ugly shirt” as opposed to saying “your shirt has lots of colors in it.”

Once we reach the the advanced stage, we begin by sitting in silence, make an observation, repeat the observation, and sit in silence once again. There’s also a balance of power that comes into play, meaning one person can’t make all the observations while the other repeats. The partner I had seemed to struggle with making observations, which is how we ended up in a staring contest much like the GIF I used above. After we finished the exercise, our professor asked why we reached a stalemate? My partner responded by saying he had so much to say but not sure how to phrase it. Um, ok. I’m going to pass it off as him being young and unfamiliar with the brutal honesty that comes with this practice, and his politeness was kicking in.

Now I’m left wondering what was on his mind

The Big Move

(Source: DIYLOL.COM)

Just a couple of more weeks before I jet off to another land. I’m a roller coaster of emotions, but I will be alright. The big stuff is still yet to come:

•Wardrobe

•Packing

•Having all of the necessary documents

•Energy

A couple of things about this move are making me a little nervous. For starters, even though I have proof of acceptance to the school, medical insurance, money for cost of living, a valid passport, and accommodation, the immigration officer is well within their rights to block me from entering the country. I’m a U.S. Citizen, and unfortunately my country is not in good standing with the world right now. This is a valid reason to not permit me to study in Ireland.

The other concern is when I get there, will I be approved to work part-time? When meeting with the second round of immigration officers, I have to prove my finances by way of bank statements and additional income. I really NEED to work while I’m there. My family is not rich and we still have a slew of money issues.

I’m trying to hope for the best though.

As of right now, my notices were put in for work and next week is my final week at two of my three jobs. The last one I’m working all the way until it’s time for me to jet off. I have no idea how I’m going to pull it all off, but I’m going to make it happen.

Falling Behind a Bit

(Source: Facebook.)

Welp, it’s not Sunday. Not only did I fail to post ‘Work Update pt. 2’, but I also didn’t post a new episode of ‘Save the Drama for Your Shamma’. My apologies it’s been a long week.

Here are the updates:

•I lost one of my shifts at the restaurant, which sucks because I was starting to build up some more cash. It also came at a time where I did get a windfall of money from my Grandfather to complete my move to Dublin; however, having extra padding is super helpful. I’m going to put in my resignation notice soon anyway, so there’s no use in complaining about it now.

•Other particulars for school have been in place for a while now with the exception of student accommodation. Mainly because I’m not using student financial aid and paying on my own instead. This means I have to find my own accommodation and it’s been difficult. Dublin is one of the hardest cities to find housing. There are plenty of apartments I could live in…if I was wealthy. Unfortunately I don’t have that kind of money to live in one of those spaces so it looks like my first semester may be spent living in a hostel.

•I WILL have a new episode of ‘Save the Drama for Your Shamma’ tomorrow and again on Sunday. I just had to get my life together in the meantime.

That’s all for now. I hope to have better news next time.

Men’s Makeup is Not Easy

(Source: fyeahbackstagebadger.tumblr.com)

There was an informercial playing on one of the TVs at work today and what I saw was absolutely tragic. The male lead had horribly blotchy makeup on. His forehead was partially made up. Only a portion of his cheek area was covered, the top of his nose, and a little on his chin. That’s it. Worse yet, the foundation was super yellow and the untouched parts of his face were super red. I’ve made a dramatic reenactment picture of what it looks like below:

(The yellow parts are the foundation and the red parts are the natural skin that was uncovered.)

I know that men’s stage and film makeup should be simple, but it’s really not. Like everyone else it boils down to good skin care, quality cosmetics, and proper skill. All three things must be in place for seamless application. For example:

(Source: Popsugar.com)

Daniel Kaluuya’s makeup artist, Amber Amos, blends his face to perfection for red carpet events. The big thing she makes sure of is that she has a smooth canvas to work on. While she uses high level brands on her client’s face, the breakdown is fairly easy to use for less expensive products as well.

1) The guy MUST have a washed face. Applying makeup to dirty skin is a no no for anyone, but lazy guys especially should heed this advice.

2) Moisturize. A good moisturizer is key, not only for smooth application, but for smooth skin in the long term. Otherwise their skin is dry and foundation has a bad habit of building up in the dry spots. They should be using eye cream too, but I may be asking too much.

3) A good primer is a necessity for a smooth canvas. It helps to fill in large pores and fine lines that would otherwise be enhanced by the foundation. Nivea Men’s After Shave is inexpensive and effective.

4) Ms. Amos uses Fenty Beauty on her client, but any prestige brand of foundation also works. I used to apply Bare Minerals Matte foundation on male customers when I worked there back in the day. Use it with the Soft Focus brush for light application.

5) Foundation alone would make anyone look ghastly, which is why bronzer is also helpful to add a little color to the face without using a blush (not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Apply it on the areas that the sun would normally kiss: forehead, top of nose, tops of cheeks, chin. Kind of like reverse contouring.

6) Finish off with a translucent setting powder and setting spray to hold the look for the rest of the day.

If you’re interested in watching a really good application of men’s makeup, follow Bob Herzog on Facebook. He is a news anchor out of Ohio and does his daily makeup videos for his fans. You can also find more videos on YouTube, though I will advise that they may be more complex with their steps.

Another Opportunity

(Source: Fresh Prince of Bel Air, NBC.)

The Universe works in very mysterious ways. Not only was I offered an opportunity to audition for a film, now a videographer friend of mine wants to work on a project with me.

This time, it’s a horror scene that I would film with another person. No pay, BUT he’s giving me the footage for my reel!

I mentioned in a previous post about productions that can’t pay their actors, but have the audacity to not hire them without a reel, and the only compensation they offer is more reel footage. It made no sense. My friend, who offered me this project, is doing this the CORRECT way by making beneficial for both of us.

I will give credit where credit is due. He watched my Instagram stories where I talk and film all of the time and that was a form of a reel for him. Don’t be mistaken though, I would never be able to pull those stories together into a professional reel to send to casting directors. However, the industry is changing and more casting decisions are being made based upon how strong your social media following is.

I’m excited about this opportunity, and a little suspicious about why everything I’ve wanted to do since January, is only now forming a month before I’m supposed to leave.

(Source: Facebook.)

How It Always Works Out

(Source: Yuri!!! On Ice, Mitsurou Kubo.)

This morning I received an invite to audition for a role on an indie film that would be shooting next month. The timing comes right after I complain about my career going stagnant, which now renders that post null and void.

There’s no guarantee that I will get the part, however, the fact that the director reached out to me is important.

So what is the film?

It’s about a young woman who has major relationship failures with except for a meaningful relationship with another woman in her early twenties. I was offered to play one of the supporting roles in this film. The best part is, it’s a paying role too.

YES. This is the dream. To play a speaking part in a film or television show and actually getting compensated for it.

The only issue is that the schedule may roll into when I’m supposed to leave the country. Who knows what will happen, but it’s an opportunity I feel I couldn’t turn down. Prayers and fingers crossed for the best possible outcome.